Archaic Kinds of Fun

it's done

July 30, 2014

“My face has a heartbeat,” Clint groaned.

“You bare knuckle boxed a Scottish gangster. What did you think was going to happen?”

“Deadpool kept slipping me shots, so I wasn’t thinking anything.” Jo tried not to smile at her good friend’s pain, but it was kinda hard not to when Clint was full-out whining. Looks like mixing boxing and drinking was a bad idea; he’s hungover and looks like he went toe-to-toe with a wrecking ball. The two of them were walking down the sidewalk, getting closer to the mansion with every step, and people were giving them a wide berth. It might be because Clint and Jo are both still in their blood stained clothes, it might be because Clint’s face is just one giant bruise, or maybe it’s the calm chicken riding on Clint’s shoulder.

“Seriously, dude, what’s with the chicken?”

“Seriously, dude, I won her in a poker game. I named her Jade.” Clint’s eyes were hidden by a pair of dark sunglasses, and Jo couldn’t tell if he was blushing under the dark purple bruises.

“You named your chicken?” Jo asked. Clint didn’t even turn his head to look at her. He just kept walking. With a chicken. On his shoulder.

“She’s a beloved pet. Of course I named her.” Right, of course. Is this really her life?

“Why Jade?” This time Clint did look at her, and his sunglasses slipped down his nose just enough for her to see his bruised and swollen eyes.

“For your pretty eyes.” Jo resisted the urge to hit him, because he looks like he’s in enough pain already. Later, when the bruises have healed, she’s kicking his ass for that line. Unless Natasha gets to him first. The mansion was completely silent when they walked inside, and they both paused in the foyer.

“JARVIS, is anybody home?” Jo asked.

“Everyone is in the gym, Miss Jo. Hulk and Thor are having another sparring session.” Jo marched over to the elevator, with Clint on her heels. They were quiet on the elevator ride down, except for the quiet slap delivered to Jo’s hand when she tried to touch the chicken. Her and Clint spent the rest of the elevator ride glaring at each other.

The first person Jo saw when she walked inside the gym was Tony, because he was talking. To Steve. She saw Natasha next, who was standing next to a chair that Darcy was sitting in. All four of them were in workout clothes, so Tony has been keeping up on his exercise routine. That’s good. He’s pretty much back to the way he was before the extra-long drinking binge, and he looks more like himself. Thor and Hulk were really battling it out, and Jo went speechless for a moment. Yeah, she sparred with Thor and thought she did okay, but the big guy must’ve been going easy on her.

“Get ‘im, Hulk!” Jo called out as her and Clint stopped next to Tony. The yell must have startled the chicken, because Clint ran a soothing hand over her dark feathers.

“Hey, you’re alive! What happened to your face?” Tony asked.

“A fist,” Clint huffed.

“You don’t look hurt.” Jo slung her arm around Tony’s shoulders and didn’t bother to comment. Tank, remember? Tony must be feeling a little slow. Clint walked off to join Natasha and Darcy, and Jo slumped against Tony’s side. Most of her injuries are healed, but she still feels a little sore and drained. Maybe she shouldn’t have played tackle football against Uncle Wade and the Scots. Ah, Uncle Wade…she tried to talk him into coming with her, but he said he was having way too much with the Scottish underground to leave. It’s probably for the best.

“I guess things have been okay here?” Jo asked as Thor took a swing at Hulk. The big green guy ducked easily and brought a fist down on Thor’s head.

“Just peachy. I finally finished—”

“Sir, Agent Hill is—”

“STARK!” The sound and movement in the room came to a stop, except for the agent’s echoing yell. The frazzled agent was leaning against the heavy door to the gym, and her loose hair was slicked to her face with blood. There were gouges in her uniform, and Jo could tell by the way she was holding herself that she had a broken rib. Maybe a couple.

“What the—”

“Our telecommunications are down. Director Fury sent me here to get you. They’re attacking all over the city. The Fantastic Four can’t contain them; there’s too many.”

“Who are they?” Steve asked.

“They called themselves the Zodiac.”

“Darcy, take Agent Hill to the infirmary. Avengers, suit up!” Everyone snapped to attention at the captain’s orders, and Jo watched as everyone moved to do what he said. Darcy moved over to Maria and helped her stand up, and her blue eyes were wide with…not quite fear, but close.

“Jo, Clint, you need your comms. And I need my suit,” Tony said as they reached the elevator. Jo and Clint nodded, and Jo couldn’t help the sense of dread hanging heavy in her stomach. This isn’t going to end well.


“The Zodiac are in place,” Sinthea announced.

“They are good at causing destruction, are they not?” Thanos asked as he stepped away from the window.

“They’re fabulous, whatever. Don’t we have another, more important, job to do?” Viper had one green tipped hand propped on her hip, and her long black hair was held behind her in a tight bun. It’s time to get to work.

“Sinthea, Amora, you know what to do,” Thanos said with a pointed look at the two women. Sinthea gave a curt nod and held herself like a soldier, and a slow smile curled Amora’s full lips.

“Of course. Sorry you can’t come with us, Ophelia.” Viper hates that name, and she just barely kept herself from attacking the sorceress. They have a job to do, and there’s no time for mistakes.


“Hawkeye, Widow, report!” Steve called. He was on the ground fighting off robots that seemed designed to target civilians, and he was already starting to feel a little worn down. For every bot he put down, two more rose up. Luckily, he’s got backup. The Invisible Woman, Susan Storm, was fighting beside him.

“We’ve cornered Gemini and Sagittarius! Fight still ongoing!” Steve could easily hear her through the new comm attached to his wrist and nodded his head before addressing the next member.


“I have engaged the ones called Leo and Aries!”

“Iron Man?”

“I’ve got Virgo!”


“Capricorn and Libra!”

“Anyone have eyes on Hulk?”

“Hulk’s taking on Taurus and Scorpio, and Thing’s got Cancer! Johnny just took off after Aquarius with Pisces on his tail, and Richards is looking for the source of the bots!” Tony rattled off.

“Don’t worry, Captain. Everything is under control,” Susan said with a gentle smile as she ripped another bot apart.

“Then why does it feel like we’re missing something?”


It all happened so fast, and all at once. For a moment, they thought they were winning. For just a single moment, they all believed that it could be done. They were so wrong.


“Come on, ugly! Is that the best you got?!” Johnny yelled. The guy, Aquarius, gave him a slimy grin that would’ve given Johnny chills if he wasn’t on fire. The girl, Pisces, was surrounded by water and laughing.

“It’s done.” The voice drifted in the air around them, and his two opponents shared a look. Johnny was just about to ask who the hell that was when he got hit with a wave of water laced with electricity, and the last thing he saw was Aquarius’s slimy grin.


“It’s done.” Ben looked at where the giant crab man had his arm caught between his pincers, and he took the moment of distraction to slam a rocky fist into the crab’s face. Cancer flew off of him, and a body slammed into his torso. The force of the hit knocked him backwards out into the street and when he looked up, Cancer was gone and an extinguished Johnny was unconscious on top of him.


“It’s done.” Natasha barely had time to process the words before Gemini and his clone were on top of her. The two of them hit her in several places at once, and she couldn’t hold in her scream as both her legs folded under her. Her body flashed hot and cold before going numb, and she forced her eyes to open again. She caught sight of Gemini’s mad eyes before everything faded to black.


“It’s done.”

“Natasha!” His partner was on the ground and not moving, and he could see the unnatural way that her legs were bent from where he was standing.

“You should pay attention to your own opponent!” Clint felt the flaming arrows sinking into his flesh, could feel his muscles tearing as his nerve endings were set on fire, but he couldn’t stop. He made it to Natasha’s side just as his body gave out.


“It’s done.” Thor dodged another blast of fire from the giant ram’s horns, and the mighty lion’s claws raked against Thor’s face as he looked for the source of the other voice. A well timed kick from both of his opponents threw him into the street below, and he didn’t get to his feet as quickly as he normally would. When he looked up to the sky again, Leo and Aries were gone.


“It’s done.” Hulk let a growl rumble out of his chest at the sound of the new voice and turned his snarl on Taurus. The woman, Scorpio, fired an energy blast at his back that distracted him just enough for Taurus to start charging. The giant minotaur’s horns hit the center of his chest, and Hulk flew back through the air. His back skidded across the concrete, and he heard a loud groan underneath him. A groan that wasn’t from an enemy.


“It’s done.” Jo was caught up in Capricorn’s horns and watching Libra’s high powered sword get closer to her face when the whispered words cut through the air, and Capricorn suddenly let her go. She looked up into Libra’s blind eyes as she fell, and the woman smiled just as Jo’s feet hit the sidewalk. Before she could jump back up into the fight, something slammed into her side. She was forced to the ground under the onslaught and dragged across the ground, and she groaned once she finally came to a stop. The heavy weight on top of her lifted up, and she raised hazy eyes to see who’d just run into her like a freight train.

“Hey, big guy. Think you can give me a hand?” Hulk gently scooped her up and placed her on his shoulder, and Jo gratefully wrapped her right arm around his neck to hold on. Her left arm was completely shredded after being trapped under both her body and Hulk’s, and then dragged several feet across the concrete. It’ll take time to heal.


“Yeah, big guy, I’m—TONY!”


“It’s done.”

“Well, Stark, it was fun while it lasted.” Tony was getting ready to retort when he felt the pull on his suit, and his eyes went wide as he realized the suit was rapidly losing power. Virgo was siphoning it all, drawing it into herself, until there was nothing left. He was locked in his suit with no power, and she was hurtling him towards the ground. It was like his dream, but Jo isn’t here to sacrifice herself. Tony could hear Hulk’s echoing growls and earth shattering stomps, but he wasn’t going to make it. Not this time.


Steve and Susan both startled as the bots started self-destructing all around them, and they were standing in the middle of electrical parts when Reed joined them. Susan went straight to him, and they took a moment to assess each other’s injuries.

“Was this your doing?” Steve asked. Reed met his eyes and shook his head. Then…who?

“Clint?” No answer. “Natasha?” Nothing. “Tony?”

“Steve! Tony fell! He’s not responding! What do I do?” Jo’s panicked voice washed over the comm, and Steve could hear Hulk’s loud rumbling coming over her comm too.

“I have found Clint and Natasha! They are both gravely injured!” Thor yelled.

“Thor, you take Clint and Natasha. Jo, get Hulk and grab Tony. Go back to the mansion! Now!”


“Hey, how are you feeling?” Darcy asked. Maria used Darcy’s cell phone to call in some medical backup, but it’s just her and Maria for now. Darcy had grabbed a towel and held it against the largest bleeding hole on the agent’s stomach when they first made it to the little hospital, but she’ll feel better once someone with actual medical training shows up.

“I’m fine, thanks.” Darcy wasn’t going to point out that the woman was paler than the sheets she was lying on, except for all the blood.

“Agent Hill, correct?” Darcy and Maria both looked over, and there was a woman standing in the doorway. She was wearing a white lab coat and her black hair was put up, so she looked like a doctor, but something didn’t feel right. Maria was suddenly on her feet with a gun drawn before Darcy could blink, and the agent easily maneuvered her body in front of Darcy’s.

“Are you one of the Zodiac?” The woman smiled, and her pale green eyes seemed to shine. She’s got a gun pointed to her head, so why isn’t she freaking out?

“Not exactly.” The woman took a step forward, and Maria raised the gun a little. Darcy has got to hand it to the agent; she’s completely calm, and it’s hard to tell that she’s got a broken rib and has lost more than enough blood to keep her down.

“What is your business here?” Maria asked. The woman smiled again, and Darcy felt cold.

“It’s not with you.” The woman moved so fast that Darcy couldn’t track it; one minute they were facing each other down, and the next Maria was flying through the air. The agent’s head smacked against a counter, and she didn’t move after hitting the ground. Darcy tried to run to her, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her. The unknown woman’s other hand plunged into her stomach, and Darcy was so stunned by the pain that she couldn’t even scream.

“What are you—” The woman twisted her wrist, and Darcy screamed as her insides were moved around. The pain was incredible, and she reached up to grab onto the woman’s lab coat. Pale green eyes looked down into hers, and the woman’s full lips were curved in a smile.

“Tell your daddy I said hello.” The woman ripped her hand out of Darcy’s stomach, and her knees hit the floor. She immediately moved her hands to the hole in her stomach, but there’s so much blood. She can’t be bleeding this much; she’ll die. She can’t die now. She’s got Tony, and Jo, and Thor, and there are people here who like her and care about her and she has a family and she can’t she can’t she can’t…


“See you later, Darcy.” The gun was pointed straight at her, and Darcy squeezed her eyes shut. The echoing sound of the shot was still ringing in her ears when everything suddenly went black.


Bruce returned to complete chaos. He’d left clothes in one of the chairs in the foyer, and Hulk retreated as soon as they were inside the mansion. Jo was still holding Tony, in his suit, over her right shoulder as he rushed to pull on pants and a shirt. He’d just pulled the shirt over his head when Thor and Steve came in, and they each had an assassin over their shoulder.

“Downstairs. Now.” Tony’s medical facilities were about the size of a small hospital floor, and there were ten different rooms. He directed Thor into one room for Natasha, and Steve into the one next to it for Clint. Jo and Tony were sent to the same room, because he knew he wasn’t going to be able to separate them. Tony is his most pressing concern, so he needs Thor and Steve to stay with the assassins until he can get Tony stabilized. (Assuming the billionaire is still alive but he can’t think that way.)

“Steve, I need you to—”

“Captain!” The three standing Avengers turned as one, and Maria slumped against the doorway to another room. Fresh blood made her face slick, and where’s Darcy?

“Agent Hill?” She lowered her gun and lifted her eyes.

“There was a woman. She looked like a doctor, but she wasn’t. I tried to stop her, but I wasn’t strong enough.” Bruce stumbled a little as Thor literally pushed past him, and Maria looked down at the floor as Thor pushed past her as well. A moment later, the god’s loud cry shook the walls around them. He was screaming Darcy’s name. When Steve and Bruce both made it inside, Bruce wished he hadn’t.

“I’m sorry,” Maria whispered. Thor was leaning against the cabinets, and his eyes looked dead as he held the still body across his lap. Darcy’s tee shirt was ripped and stained red, and there was a single bullet hole in the center of her head. Thor had her body gathered in his arms and held close to him, and he was crying silently as he rocked the body back and forth.

“Steve, take Maria to another room. I have to check on Tony before the others,” Bruce said quietly.

“I called in medical services. They should be here soon,” Maria said as Steve reached her side. Bruce nodded so that she’d know he heard her, and he had to force himself to look away from Thor’s broken eyes and Darcy’s body. He needs to save Tony. (If he can.)

When he got to Tony’s room, Tony was out of the suit and Jo was whispering to him. The suit was lying in the corner in pieces, so Jo must have ripped it off of him piece by piece. The arc reactor was still shining, but Tony wasn’t reacting to anything. It didn’t even look like he was breathing, and Jo looked like she was on the verge of a breakdown. She looked up when he entered, and her dark green eyes looked like Thor’s.

“He’s not…I don’t think he’s breathing, Doc. What do we do? I can’t lose him. I can’t.” Jo was steadily crying and running her bloody fingers through Tony’s hair.

“There might be something.” Jo’s eyes narrowed, and Bruce thought back to a couple of days ago. It was right after his first sparring session with Thor and before Tony went to bed. Tony was worried, said something just didn’t feel right with Jo gone, and he’d asked Bruce for a favor. Bruce just didn’t think he’d be making good on it so soon.

“Whatever it is, do it.”

“Is he still alive?” If Tony’s already dead, it won’t work. (He’s not going to think about Darcy’s still body. He’s not.)

“I can still hear him, but it’s getting quieter. Hurry, Doc.” Bruce rushed from the room, didn’t think about the people in the other rooms, and rode the elevator straight up to the lab. He went to the back of Tony’s lab, entered a pin into a safe and gave up some of his radioactive blood, and moved through the few things that Tony kept locked away.

Container E98736. Tony said it was in case of emergencies and only then. It was untested and probably unsafe, but Tony isn’t going to make it. He fell from nearly a hundred feet in the air in a powerless suit. Nearly every bone is broken, but the internal damage alone is enough to kill him. He should already be dead, but the genius is too stubborn to give up that easily. Bruce has to hurry though. If he doesn’t, it’ll be too late. The elevator stopped on the first floor, and several wide-eyed doctors and nurses stepped on. Bruce waited for the doors to close before saying anything.

“If any of you are not who you say you are, Hulk will kill you before you can reach the door. Understood?” They all nodded, and Bruce led them to the medical facilities. He directed them to Natasha, Clint, and Maria’s rooms, and he told them not to enter Tony’s room or the room that Thor was in under any circumstances. He’ll take care of Tony first and then they’ll deal with Thor. (With Darcy.)

“What is that?” Jo asked as he stepped back into the room. He clicked the lock before walking over, and Jo was holding herself protectively over the flickering light of the arc reactor. Tony’s heart is trying to stop. She must have seen enough of his thoughts to get the answer, because her eyes widened.

“Extremis or death,” he whispered. That was good enough for her, because she straightened up and nodded at him.

“Hold his arm out for me.” Jo extended Tony’s left arm as gently as she could, and the hardened bodyguard winced at the movement of all the broken bones. The needle moved in slowly, and Jo caught Bruce’s eyes as the Extremis entered Tony’s system. Bruce moved away as soon as the needle was out, and Jo leaned down to watch Tony’s face.

“I can’t hear him. Why can’t I hear him?” Jo looked up at him, but Bruce didn’t know how to answer. What if he was too late? Bright red started streaking through Tony’s veins, so his heart is still pumping. Jo looked like she was about to panic when Tony’s broken hand reached out to grab hers, and the grip had to be bruising. Jo’s fingers were turning colors. Jo softy called Tony’s name, and bright red eyes suddenly met hers. Bruce moved forward to get a better look, and Tony’s bright red eyes flicked over to him before turning to Jo.

“Jo, I—” Tony didn’t really scream. The only word that Bruce could think of to describe the sound was a yowl, like a dying animal fighting to survive. Tony’s entire body was lit up with that bright red light, and Bruce watched as the bones in Jo’s hands broke and splintered through her skin at Tony’s tight grip. Bruce moved around to where she was standing, but she wouldn’t look away from Tony.

“Let go, Jo.” Bruce’s hands lightly pressed against her shoulders as he spoke into her ear, and he felt her press back against him.

“Not happenin’, Doc.” He could barely hear her rough voice over the sound of Tony’s pained yelling, and he lightly squeezed her shoulders before stepping away again. The red bled out of Tony’s eyes as his grip loosened just the tiniest fraction and the yelling died out.


“How you feelin’, boss?” Tony glanced down at his body, looked at the mess of Jo’s hand, and then met her eyes.

“I’m alive.” He sounded surprised, and Bruce felt about the same. He was worried for a moment that it wasn’t going to work. Tony turned his head, and Bruce looked down into brown eyes. “You used the Extremis.”

“You were almost dead.”

“Thank you, Bruce.” He’s never heard Tony sound so sincere, and it’s a little humbling. Bruce just did what Tony asked him to do.

“Yeah, thanks, Doc. I don’t know what I would’ve done if you weren’t here,” Jo said in a hoarse whisper. They both look so happy and relieved, because they don’t know about Darcy. And he has to tell them.


Darcy groaned as she returned to consciousness, but she could barely hear it over the sound of loud sobbing in her ear. Strong arms were crossed behind her back and holding her against a shaking body, and she could barely breathe because of the tight hold. Blonde hair was tickling against her nose and forehead, so this has to Thor. Why is Thor holding her so tight and crying? It’s not like she’s dead. Wait…she should be dead! That woman put a hole in her stomach and shot her in the head! She can still remember how it felt to have a bullet tearing through her brain and exploding out of the back of her skull. So how is she alive?

“Thor? Thor! I can’t breathe!” She was pulled back, and she looked up into Thor’s tear soaked face. The big guy looks like he’s been crying for weeks.


“Hey, big guy.” She tried to smile, but she has got the mother of all headaches. Is this how Jo feels when Natasha shoots her in the head? If so, she’s got a new respect for the woman.

“Darcy!” Thor hugged her to him again, and Darcy tried to take stock of everything. Thor is sitting on the floor in one of the hospital rooms, and she’s in his lap. This must be the room that she was in with Maria when that other woman came in, but there’s no one else in here as far as she can tell.

“Darcy!” Why does everyone keep yelling her name? Thor loosened his hold, and Darcy turned enough that she could face the rest of the room. Jo was standing in the middle of the room, with Tony right next to her and Bruce standing to the side. Jo and Tony were both covered in blood, and Bruce was looking a little pale.

“Darcy is alive!” Thor announced.

“You said she was dead.” Jo looked over at Bruce, who was still looking at Darcy.

“She was. Her stomach was ripped open, and she was shot in the head.” Jo pulled her right hand out of Tony’s and knelt down in front of her, and Darcy realized that Jo’s left arm was missing a lot of skin. She could see raw muscle knitting itself back together.

“What happened, Darcy?” As Darcy explained what happened, Jo lifted her shirt and swiped her hand across the dried blood on Darcy’s stomach. Clean skin. There’s not even a scar. It’s like nothing even happened.

“This doesn’t make sense,” Bruce said as Jo stood up. Thor stood up as well, taking Darcy with him, and gently sat her on her feet.

“It’s definitely Darcy though, and it happened just like she said.” Jo moved back to Tony’s side and took his hand in hers, and Tony was being oddly quiet.

“You are well, Tony?” Thor asked with a skeptical look.

“We’ll talk about it later,” he said with a small smile.

“Where’s Maria? And the others?” Darcy asked.

“Being treated,” Bruce said as he looked at her. She gets why everyone is freaked out by her being alive, because she’s a little freaked out too.

“We need to talk about what happened. Soon,” Tony said and looked over at Bruce. The doctor nodded and then slowly rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“For now, we need to rest. Give it a few days. Thor, take Darcy to her room and stay with her in case something else happens. Jo, Tony, go rest and watch after each other. I’ll check on the others and keep all of you updated. Once everyone is conscious, we’ll talk.” Huh, that’s the most that Darcy has ever heard Bruce say. Then again, Bruce is the least beaten up of them all. Before Darcy and Thor reached the door, Jo jumped forward and wrapped her good arm around Darcy’s shoulders. A moment later, Tony wrapped both arms around her. Jo was pressed against her front and Tony was against her back, and she could see Thor smiling down at them all.

“I’m really glad you’re not dead, Darcy,” Jo whispered.

“Me too, kid,” Tony added.

“Thanks, Mom. Now take Dad up to bed before he falls over,” Darcy said as they pulled back. They each smacked a kiss against one of her cheeks, and Darcy smiled at both of them. Her body is still sore and aching, but she’s alive. That’s really all that matters.

“She’s all yours, Thor,” Tony said and gave the big guy a pat on the shoulder as he walked past. Jo had her arm across Tony’s back and his arm was over her shoulder, and they seemed to slump against each other as they moved off towards the elevator.

“I’m really glad you’re not dead too, Darcy.” Bruce smiled, just for a second, and moved off to another hospital room.

“Come, Darcy. We should rest.”

“Yeah, that sounds good.” When Thor swept her up into his arms, she didn’t even put up a pretend protest like she normally would. She just wrapped her arms around his neck and held on.


Jo stepped out of Tony’s bathroom, wearing nothing but one of his tee shirts and a pair of his silky boxers, and lightly prodded at her left arm. She didn’t even realize that it’d been completely skinned until after Tony was okay, or that her ankle was broken when Capricorn dropped her. She’s mostly healed now, but her left arm is still a little sensitive. She had to regrow a little muscle.

“Feeling okay, sweetheart?” Jo looked away from her arm to see Tony sitting on the edge of his bed. He’s just wearing a pair of loose pajama pants, and he looks…just as flawless as always. The arc reactor is shining bright, and there isn’t a scratch on him. No bruises. No broken bones. No internal bleeding.

“Are you feeling okay?” Tony smiled, and it made his eyes crinkle.

“Like a billion bucks. C’mere,” Tony said and held out a hand. Jo walked over to stand right in front of him, and she slipped her hand into his. Warm. Strong. Rough. Alive.

“You idiot!” She slapped him with her left hand, which pulled at her newly formed muscles, and then immediately hugged him to her. His face was pressed against her stomach, they were still holding hands, and their free hands moved over each other. Jo gripped his hair and he gripped her hip.

“That worried, huh?” He pulled back from her, and Jo looked down into his dark brown eyes.

“You stopped breathing a few times. I thought I was going to lose you, and I can’t…” She’s crying again. “I can’t lose you. Not now. Not ever.”

“I’m alive,” Tony said quietly as he stood up. The arc reactor pushed against her chest, and Tony let go of her hand so that he could cradle her face between his palms.

“You almost weren’t,” she pointed out.

“Do you love me?” What kind of question is that?

“Like I’ve never loved anyone else,” was her answer. She saw Tony smile and then he was kissing her. Actually kissing her. It was soft, a gentle push and pull against her lips, and Jo sighed as she reached up to grab his shoulders. Tony pulled away a moment later and rested his forehead against hers.


“Nope. You?”

“Nada.” They both laughed as they held onto each other, and Jo felt a little ridiculous. They all just had a near death experience, but Tony kissed her and now they’re laughing about it. She could feel Tony’s mind on the edge of hers, and she listened to the conversation that he had with Darcy a few days ago.

“Who said true love doesn’t apply to friends?” Jo whispered. Tony raised his head up and pressed a kiss against the top of her head, and Jo wrapped her arms around his back as she rested against him. It’s so good to feel him breathing against her; to feel his warmth and know that he’s alive.

“So you’re not mad at me for kissing you?”

“Not even a little. At least now we know that we’re meant to just be…us.” Tony’s arms were wrapped tight around her shoulders, and she’s starting to feel a little better. JARVIS informed them that Clint, Natasha, and Maria are all stable, so everything is okay for now.

“Mhmm. Bed time?” Jo leaned back enough to look at him and smiled.

♠ ♠ ♠
Let's start with the bad guys, hmm? Feel free to Google them, because they are all real. I didn't create them. Sinthea is Red Skull's daughter, Viper/Ophelia works with HYDRA and really hates (loves?) Wolverine, and Amora is an Enchantress from Asgard. I'll mix things up a little to make things work with this story, but they are from the actual comics. The Zodiac are from the comics too, but there's several different versions of the teams so I kind of mixed them all together. That's the fun part about being a writer, right?

The Fantastic Four can also be Googled, but here's a quick little rundown. They went to space, a thing happened, and they got superpowers. Reed Richards is Mr. Fantastic, and he's super stretchy. Also a genius. Susan Storm is the Invisible Woman (goes invisible) and is married to Reed. Johnny Storm is the Human Torch, and he does the really cool thing where he sets himself on fire. (Has a strong resemblance to the Cap'n for some odd reason.) Last, Ben Grimm is the Thing. Big rocky dude, and my personal favorite.

No one died! Well, no one died permanently. So much happened in this chapter, and I'm not sure what all to address. Okay, so, Darcy isn't dead. That will be explained later. As for Thor, I do not think that he's a giant crybaby. However, I do think that he's been through a lot lately. His mother dying but not really, his brother dying but not really, Odin being Odin, Jane leaving him...Darcy is a bright spot in a dark world and seeing her dead was like a breaking point. That's why he cried so much. Tony is alive and kicking, but we all know that miracle cures come with consequences. I promise everything will be explained eventually.

TLDR; If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!